Appraisal Training from vivoHR

HR Support for Trade Businesses


Absence Management

A big challenge for companies with staff who operate out in the field is managing absence. Jobs and resources need to be planned. A high absence rate badly affects the business’ ability to function properly. In the medium term this can lead to higher costs, lower productivity and damaged reputation. Whether short or long term absence, both provide a business with challenges.

If you want to manage your business effectively, you need to manage absence similarly and we can help you with that. An absence policy needs to be robust and make clear what staff are expected to do when they are absent for any reason. A typical policy might include:

  • Who to report the absence to and by when;
  • Arrangements for sick pay;
  • The number of self-certifiable absent days;
  • When a medical note will be required; and
  • Arrangements for return to work interviews.

It is also sensible to provide the name and contact details for whoever administers the policy, so that the absent staff member has a second point of contact if they are unable to get hold of their primary contact.

In larger organisations, with more people working off site or solo e.g. engineers, the role of a Team Manager (or similar) is key. The effectiveness of the absence policy rests on their understanding and policing of it, and their ability to communicate absence issues back to the HR team.

When a member of staff phones in sick, that conversation should be treated sympathetically from the outset. This is so the absent staff member is comfortable providing a true reason for their absence and any help that might be needed can to be offered.

The importance of consistency

An absence policy can only work effectively if it is used consistently. If the policy states absences have to be reported ‘human-to-human’, then email or text is not sufficient. The Team Manager or Policy Administrator must follow up with the absent employee, so that s/he understands this and can act properly in the future. Similarly the policy must apply equally to all employed staff.

Absence Reports

Reports detailing employee absences should be produced regularly so that absence patterns can be shown up and acted upon appropriately. Be aware that these reports are classed as management information, the data is highly sensitive, and therefore should be managed and stored appropriately with only suitable people being able to access it.


Managing absence is key to managing the business which is why we can offer to provide training if it is needed. 


More about vivoHR support for trade businesses:-

We have pulled together lots of useful information for Office Managers and Owners of trade businesses.

Speak to an expert

Speak to an expert. One of the vivoHR team, either Sam, Rachel or Sarah-Louise are here to take your call on 01252 757359

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